ia32-libs [was: Bringing Wine into Main]

Stephan Hermann sh at sourcecode.de
Thu Dec 18 07:50:28 GMT 2008


On Wed, 2008-12-17 at 09:38 -0800, Scott Ritchie wrote:
> Stephan Hermann wrote:
> > Moins,
> > 
> > 
> > On Wed, 2008-12-17 at 11:08 +0100, Martin Pitt wrote:
> >> Hi Scott,
> >>
> >> Scott Ritchie [2008-12-15  2:22 -0800]:
> >>> After some discussion with a few core devs at UDS, I feel it is time to
> >>> formally propose that Wine be moved into main.
> >> Already discussed at UDS, but for the records: Support for (more or
> >> less) OOTB running windows applications has been one of my pet peeves,
> >> since many people asked me for how to convert their business over to
> >> free software, but were stuck on one particular Windows app. This
> >> indeed seems to be a blocker for acceptance.
> >>
> >> Besides the ia32-libs problem (which I'll comment on below), this by
> >> and large requires a firm commitment to maintaining wine. Would be
> >> great if you would be willing to do that full-time.
> > 
> > I don't think this will happen at any time...wine 1.0 needed 15 years of
> > work of people...and if wine wants to support all apps on the windows
> > market...how many years we will work on that?
> > 
> Some applications already work more or less perfectly once Wine is
> installed.  If you only need those applications and are considering a
> migration, then the only assurance you'll need is that there won't be
> any Wine regressions.  That's a very reasonable maintenance burden for
> us to take, especially if we stick to stable Wine releases or keep a
> list of supported applications.

And that's the problem. Mainstream applications are working, but working
in a company which main product is build on Windows with some really
tricky bending of rules regarding the usage of the win32 api, and
knowing that customers are asking for Linux support, the only way to go
to have a fast start with that, is to use wine.

Neither wine, nor all commercial products, which are tweaking wine, are
running the product without problems. It runs, but someone can't use all
This product is established in Germany and our neighbour countries and
has a large enterprise userbase...and some enterprises want to save
money, so they are switching to Linux (not on the server side ,-)) and
they need to use this app.

There are some ways to solve this:

1. Write a native app
2. Tweak wine, so wine can be used

For 1: Good solution, the only usable solution but takes a lot of time
to rewrite the app to use a sane framework

For 2: Wine upstream needs to hack some code inside, to support the
specialities which the app needs. Therefore there is more work for
upstream, disregard the fact, that they need some informations
propietary software companies won't give them (The chicken <-> egg
problem :() and upstream has another exception from the standard in
their code. 

Anyways, there is no way in the near future, that Wine (and I think wine
is really necessary for a good user experience, when switching from MS
to Linux) will support 99.9% of all windows apps ever written.

And from the usecase of wine nowadays, the focus lays on "Make Windows
Games work on Linux", which is a valid focus, but ties a lot of manpower
on those stuff but not making any other app which is not a game

As long as Wine behaves as a native win32 (hopefully win64) api
"replacement", with all bendings and hacks used in many windows apps,
everything will be good, but this is still a long way to go.



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